Democrat Assey joins team at NCTA


The National Cable and Telecommunications Assn. has added a little Democratic muscle, tapping a former high-ranking Senate Commerce Committee aide as its top lobbyist.

James Assey Jr. was hired as the trade group's No. 2 executive Thursday.

"Throughout his professional career, James has demonstrated deep and insightful knowledge of telecommunications issues as well as great personal integrity," president and CEO Kyle McSlarrow said in announcing the move. "Widely respected on both sides of the aisle and at the FCC, James will represent our industry at a very high level."

McSlarrow is a Republican, and the addition of Assey will give the NCTA some balance and perhaps aid the cable industry in its battles with Congress.

Assey is filling the position vacated in the fall by David Krone, also a Democrat, who joined Comcast in the company's Philadelphia headquarters.

Assey served on the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee from 2001 until his departure at the end of December, serving first as telecommunications counsel for former Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., and most recently as senior Democratic counsel on communications and media for committee chairman Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii.

With the committee, Assey drafted Democratic legislation that would have imposed net-neutrality regulation on cable operators.